Hand Me Downs: Are They Worth It? A Reader Question

 hand me downs

I bought my oldest boy a new pair of jeans for Christmas.  He wore them a few times, we washed them, and now we realize they simply don’t fit.  Would you save them for the next brother (for a good 2-3 years) to keep costs down, or consign them to recoup the cost now and not have something ELSE to store?     Thanks! ~Amy W.

 P.S.  Our family passed the 700 mark today in our 2014 in 2014 challenge, and we love it!  My college roommate has already completed hers (and is inspired to do much more), and my sister-in-law and her good friend are on board now as well.  Love the challenge!!!

My Answer:


Thanks Amy! I say consign them. Most of us plan on saving hand-me-downs from our older children to our younger children. But more often than not, they get stuffed into a closet and forgotten about and found only after they no longer fit. Life happens, we forget. To get the most bang for your buck, consign them and use the money to purchase what you currently need.


This helps you have:
1. Nothing to store.
2. Nothing to remember.
3. Only owning what you need.


Do you have an organizational challenge I can help you with?
Email me your questions: rachel@nourishingminimalism.com
Subject: Reader Question

About the author, Rachel

Hi there! I’m the Joyful Space Specialist. it’s my desire help others create a joyful space of their own and enjoy their time spent at home.


  1. Sarah on 03/13/2014 at 5:33 PM

    I have to disagree. I think minimalists are those who can find the items when the next child is ready for them. I have 4 tubs going clearly labeled for the sizes my children are not currently. When my younger daughter started to out grow her 2t clothes I grabbed the 3t tub and transferred contents to her 2 drawers in our dresser. since we are not having more children I put the 2t items that come out of the laundry directly in the charity tub. I think if I wasn’t a minimalist clothes could get lost but since that closet that ONLY contains these tubs and our camping stuff it is the work of a minute to find and use. They definitely would have gotten lost in the days before my version of minimalism but I honestly with less stuff, the stuff I will definitely use gets found.

  2. Verity on 07/26/2014 at 3:21 PM

    Honestly this question depends so much on each family!

    It helps to objectively determine how long you are willing to store hand me downs.

    My limit is a year and a half.

    I recently added up that each tub of clothes saves me about $100. Therefore if I need to store the tub for one year I have saved $100 per year by storing it. My daughters are three years, two years, and almost one. It is worth it to save things for them.!

    However, my son is almost 5. Even if I have a boy next, a tub of his clothes would only save me $20 a year. Totally not worth it!

    Having an objective time frame that I’m willing to store things and adding up monetary savings has helped me choose when to save and when to not.

    • Rachel on 07/26/2014 at 5:10 PM

      That’s a good way to look at it!

  3. Leah on 07/30/2014 at 10:59 PM

    I do save clothes for hand me downs – my daughters are less than 25 months apart. But, I saved everything from the first baby and wore very little of it on Baby #2. So after B#2 was done, I evaluated what got the most use and got rid of everything else – it was a lot! So I saved my favorite and the most practical items, which drastically reduced what I had to store.

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